Big Spring to no longer have U.S. 19 district office

Lyndel Moody
Staff Writer

U.S. Congressman-Elect Jodey Arrington's office announced Tuesday that the 19th District office in Big Spring will be closed and merged with the district's other two offices located in Abilene and Lubbock.
In a phone interview with the Herald this morning, Arrington said the closure is not an indication he is distancing himself from Howard County, a county he lost in May's Republican run-off to opponent Glen Robertson, but actually a new strategy to be more active in the communities he serves.
“In fact I think it's quite to the contrary,” Arrington said. “What I'm doing, I'm looking at the limited resources that we have for a district office and I'm looking at the size — we have one of the largest districts in the country with 29 counties to cover — I just think it makes more sense to reprioritize our resources and instead of investing in physical office space, invest in people who can, with a cell phone and a laptop and a full tank of gas, make it out to the communities in this vast region.”
Arrington said this new strategy is aimed at increasing his office's engagement into the community. “My expectations for myself and for my team is to be very active in the communities throughout the district, including Big Spring,” he said. “I believe we are going to more engaged in Big Spring and more active with town halls and with stakeholder discussions with agriculture, transportation or Ports-to-Plains, oil and gas.
“We are still interviewing people for various field representative jobs, and caseworker jobs to help our citizens with issues like veterans who need to get into the veterans health administration or folks who haven't got their Social Security check … there are still several hires to make, it's just we are prioritizing people over what I believe is unnecessary office overhead,” he continued. “If you are going to make engagement of these communities a priority, and I am, I'm going to be very aggressive in making it out regularly to all the communities all the way from Graham and the eastern part of the district to Seminole and Denver City on the western side and all those communities in between. Obviously, Big Spring is one of the larger communities and just like Plainview is one of the larger communities, Sweetwater, those folks are going to see we will be making our rounds and our presence will be felt and our level of engagement will increase.”
Arrington will take office when Congress resumes in January.